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Bladder cancer treatment, diagnosis & prescriptions

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Can a doctor treat bladder cancer on Maple?

Yes, in some cases a doctor from Maple will be able to offer a bladder cancer diagnosis by discussing possible signs of bladder cancer, past medical records & tests, and evaluating your condition.

Typically, when the doctor believes that you have bladder cancer, they will request that you visit a clinic to receive additional testing in order to confirm the diagnosis. This could involve imaging tests (CT or x-ray), urine cytology, cystoscopy or a biopsy, when possible.

Can I get a prescription on Maple?

Yes, our physicians can prescribe medications online during your consultation. Once you accept a prescription, you’ll have the option to pick it up from any pharmacy or to have it delivered right to your door at no additional cost.

You can visit our How it Works page to learn more.

What is bladder cancer?

The bladder is a flexible, hollow pouch, which stores urine before it is expelled from the body. Bladder cancer occurs when the cells in the bladder begin to grow and multiply uncontrollably.

This is one of the most common types of cancer (5th in Canada), and has a high level of recurrence.

There are three types of bladder cancer:

  • Urothelial carcinoma (involving the urothelial cells in the bladder)
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (usually associated with chronic bladder irritation)
  • Adenocarcinoma (starting in the mucus-secreting glands in the bladder)
What are the symptoms of bladder cancer?

The most common signs of bladder cancer include:

  • Painful or burning urination
  • Pelvic pain
  • Feeling like you have to urinate when your bladder is empty
  • Urine discoloration
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Blood in urine
  • Frequent urination

If the cancer has begun to spread, there may be additional bladder cancer symptoms such as:

  • Swollen feet
  • Lower back or lower abdominal pain
  • Achy or sore bones
  • Severe fatigue
  • Inability to urinate
  • Loss in appetite
  • Unexplained or unplanned weight loss
What causes bladder cancer?

Direct bladder cancer causes aren’t always clear, although there are a number of factors which are known to increase risks of bladder cancer, or lead directly to mutations that can result in bladder cancer. Some of these include:

  • Radiation exposure
  • Frequent or chronic irritation of the lining inside the bladder
  • Exposure to certain chemicals
  • Parasitic infections
  • Smoking or other forms of tobacco use
Is bladder cancer curable?

Yes, in over 90% of cases, bladder cancer can be cured within five years of starting treatment; as long as the treatment begins in the cancer’s early stages.

However, especially when the cancer is treated in its early stages, there is a 60-70% chance of recurrence.

Is bladder cancer hereditary?

Typically, bladder cancer isn’t hereditary.

In most cases, bladder cancer is the result of somatic mutations; meaning that it’s caused by genetic mutations that occur in the bladder’s cells during the patient’s lifetime.

How is bladder cancer treated?

Bladder cancer treatment is usually done using the following methods:

  • Chemotherapy (to the entire body or just the bladder)
  • Surgery
  • Reconstruction (creating a new way for urine to exit the body)
  • Radiation
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radical cystectomy (removal of the bladder and surrounding lymphs or organs)

The type of treatment will depend on the recommendations of your doctor, as well as the current stage of the cancer and the location of the cancer inside the bladder.

What should I expect after bladder tumor removal?

If you’ve recently had a bladder tumor removed, you may notice that you’re having trouble controlling your bladder. This is very common and isn’t a cause for concern.

There may be some discomfort while healing. Bed rest and drinking lots of water are strongly recommended. Avoid becoming constipated if possible.

As well, scabbing inside the bladder may get loose and bleed. This could cause blood to pass into the urine or cause difficulty in urinating due to blood clots. If difficulty urinating or blood in the urine persists for more than 1 day, contact your doctor for further direction.

What is Maple?

With Maple, you can start talking to a doctor about your symptoms in a matter of minutes. We’re a healthcare app for fast, convenient 24/7 access to Canadian doctors.

You simply log in, tap a button to request a consultation, and we’ll immediately connect you to a doctor via live chat or video. You can visit our How it Works page to learn more.

Maple also offers an Oncology Second Opinion Navigator, which gives you the freedom to schedule an appointment with an expert oncologist, at your convenience.
The oncologist will perform an initial assessment to determine whether you’re a good candidate for a full consultation. They’ll also discuss your diagnosis with you, your past medical history, as well as answer any questions you might have.

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